The Buzz: Is there a worry with Cripps? The value of consistency & best downgrade Round 11 rookies

After two sub-par scores in both formats we’re investigating what’s going on with Patrick Cripps. Plus we assess the best rookie picks this round and the value of consistency ratings.

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Is there a worry with Patrick Cripps?

Many would have only just jumped on the Patrick Cripps (AF $833k SC $577k MID) train recently as he was severely undervalued and a must get but after the past two weeks he’s pumped out two sub 100s, so what has happened? Is this a repeat of what happened the past two seasons or has there been some kind of role change we haven’t noticed? Let’s investigate.

Looking at the centre bounce numbers he’s attended the same amount of centre bounces as he’s done for the majority of the season so it’s definitely not an issue of him playing inside midfield (If you’d like a full breakdown of the most notable CBA and kick-in changes per week then check out this article here).

However, when Marc Pittonet went down with an injury in Round 6. Carlton had to promote backup ruckman Tom De Koning and then share the secondary ruck role between Jack Silvagni, Harry McKay and Cripps. While Cripps did attend a few ruck contests out of necessity in Rounds 6 to 8 it didn’t affect his scoring at all. But with McKay’s injury, Cripps has had to take on this role more with Silvagni having to play as a second tall up forward and this is where he’s losing his points. 

While it says he’s attending ruck contests he’s been giving away more free kicks in the past few weeks as he’s playing an unfamiliar role which leads to more clangers as he’s recorded 24 clangers in the last three weeks (and the highest averaging clangers per game is TimKelly with 6.14 per game). Add in the fact he’s averaging fewer disposals and has way fewer score involvements means that this new ruck role is really hampering his game a lot as he’s being forced to man-mark the opposition ruckman at times and doesn’t get the opportunity to be a threat up forward and kick a bag. 

So, does that mean he’s going to perform poorly for the rest of the year? It’s going to be an excruciating bye period for Cripps owners as both McKay and Pittonet are minimum four weeks away, add in the fact that the only other ruckman on Carlton’s list is Alex Mirkov who’s also on the injury list and arguably too raw to be thrown into the wolves could mean we see an under-priced Cripps by the end of the byes. One to keep an eye on his role, but if the Blues keep winning with this plan, there isn’t a reason to change Cripps’s role for now, which would absolutely suck from a fantasy perspective. But do not trade him out because normality should resume once Carlton gets all their first team back. 

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Is consistency something we need to be looking at when identifying a premium to bring in?

I stumbled across this question on Twitter this morning and pondered because on SuperCoach and AFL Fantasy they do have “Consistency” ratings but just having a value of x doesn’t really tell us much about how consistent they are. Unfortunately, they can only be accessed through the paid subscription services of each site but thanks to Footywire (Just go to AFL Fantasy/ SuperCoach, click on scoring and then you can sort by consistency) we can have a look at these ratings without paying. So, what do these numbers tell us?

The consistency rating on the SuperCoach site describes it as the standard deviation of the players scoring. To put it in language that everyone can understand if a player says has a consistency rating of 10, you can expect them to score 10 points above their current average or 10 points below their average. Currently, the lowest consistency rating for players who have played more than five games is Lachlan Keefe (3.1) but he’s only averaging 39.4 so it isn’t really that exciting to hype up scoring between 36 and 42. So let’s filter these so that we get premium players and see who the “most consistent” players are and discuss some underrated selections that you might want to consider. 

George Hewett (AF $792k SC $564k D/M)

If you want consistency,Hewett’s SuperCoach scores are the most consistent we have seen, with a low score of 111 and a high of 131, he very much deserves that consistency rating of 4 with many coaches being happy that he will score 110+ but unfortunately not high enough to be a captaincy like score. 

Bailey Dale (AF $780k SC $544k DEF)

While the likes of Crisp and Preuss have a lower consistency rating. They are owned by like half of the fantasy competition, so it isn’t worth delving into their scoring. But the real value in looking into this stat is finding gems like these as Dale has a consistency rating of just 9.3 whilst averaging 104.6 this year. While many thought he wouldn’t improve on his 95.2 average last year he’s only gone and shown that he can back that up and improve on it as he’s had a low score of 86 and a high of 116. Like Hewett, he doesn’t have a hugely high ceiling, but you know that you will get at least a 90+ point effort from him each week. 

Darcy Parish (AF $886k SC $620k MID)

Parish is one midfielder that flies under the radar of uber premium status mainly because he hasn’t scored at the ceiling like the other $600k mids have currently. But amazing his floor is also very high with only two scores under 100 being a 97 and 99 in rounds 1 and 3. Since then he’s scored between 109 and 139 which leaves him at a consistency rating of 12 while averaging 120.6. So, to be honest having a mid that could score you 105 to 130, doesn’t sound too bad.

So do the numbers check out?

However, there is a massive flaw in using this stat as players with an extremely high ceiling who have one or two off games get a high consistency rating. Point and case, Callum Mills (AF $964k SC $641k MID) has one of the highest consistency ratings at 52.9 (which would be a bad thing). While he’s currently averaging 122.9, he’s so far had five games over 130 including a massive 214 as well as 3 games under 85 including a 60. So, while he is wildly inconsistent, does that make him a bad choice? No, not necessarily because he’s played every game this year and 3rd in total points the 214 and 60 will balance each other out, as they are most likely one-off games.

Another player who has a very high consistency rating is Tom Stewart (AF $851k SC $592k DEF) (37.9), so even though he averages 114.7, the three-game period between rounds 6 to 8 where he scored 97, 187 and 74 means that he is an inconsistent supercoach option. Granted in that same 3-week period he was also averaging 119.3, again I don’t think anyone would care if someone averaged 119.3 nor would it matter much if they did it in the way Tom Stewart did as you’re still getting the same number of points at the end of the day. 

So should consistency ratings be something we should rely on, it’s very hard to make a call on it maybe when we are trying to decide between multiple players at a similar price ie, do we want a player who we know will deliver a score between say 95-110 or will we want to bank on another player who can perform between 80 and 140.

It’s not a stat I would be relying on as it does have its flaws, but some players can fly under the radar as mentioned so it can be good if you want a stable score that you can bank on each week. Maybe the wayward scoring may cost you in a cash league format, but if you’re playing for fun or rank it won’t matter. 

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Rookies to pick up

A lot of people are cashing in their rookies in preparation for the byes especially when the likes of Nic Martin, Josh Gibcus, Nick Daicos, Paddy McCartin and Sam De Koning are hitting their ceiling but with news that our best rookie option in Luke Cleary has been omitted it leaves us very thin with rookies that have decent job security, so let’s discuss some pros and cons of the current crop of rookies that should play this week

Joel Jeffrey (AF $242k SC $128k FWD)

Pro: High ceiling, kicked five against the Dogs showing that he does have the capabilities to match it against the best of the best. With both Corbett and Lukosius being ruled out for four weeks, it should mean that Jeffrey holds his spot in the team at least until one of them is fit to play but the good news is that he is doing enough to keep Sam Day out of the team

Cons: Being a third tall/key forward like play style means that he’s going to score 20 or 70 each game, so the cash gen from him is going to be very limited. They, fortunately, do have an easyish run in the next few weeks over the byes but he’s still one or two bad games from being sent back to the twos in my opinion. Previous five scores were poor too.

Cooper Stephens (AF $253k SC $124k MID)

Pros: Has a contested style of play that sees him rack up points with minimal disposal. The Cats have started to shift to playing a bit more of their youth a bit more and that means he is involved in their centre bounces. With Patrick Dangerfield out of the team with a calf injury it also means that this spot should be his for the time being.

Cons: Job security of Geelong rookies in the past has generally been terrible and they have a lot of players to come back with the likes of Dangerfield, Sam Menegola and Max Holmes so while I feel his scoring is probably the best of those on the bubble it may also come back to bite if he only plays one or two more games.

Jacob Wehr (AF $213k SC $124k DEF)

Pros: Technically not on the bubble the mature-age recruit has come into the team for Cooper Hamilton (which I’m still a little bit salty about). But we’ve waited for him to debut for a while as he was a highly touted mature age recruit last year. While in his first game he didn’t do too much he was playing against the Eagles where the ball wasn’t in the backline much until junk time so we won’t read too much into that, but a bigger challenge will be what he does next week against an elite forward half team in Brisbane. 

Cons: When Leon Cameron was at the helm, we were always scared at what he would throw up on the selection table and we got that same fear when Mark Mcveigh named Braydon Preussas an emergency. I can’t guarantee Wehr stays in the team for a while so again like Stephens and Jeffrey you’re banking on

Rhylee West (AF $384k SC $188k FWD)

Pros: Four years in the system already and has an inside midfield pedigree, shown in his 2 games this year that even if he plays up forward, he can score decently.

Cons: Probably only in the team due to injuries to Cody Weightman, Mitch Hannan and Mitch Wallis. While he is playing well, he probably won’t have any chance to have a bad game. He’s also much more expensive compared to the other rookies we have available, so is it worth paying that premium for someone who doesn’t have any better job security.

Luke Cleary (AF $261k SC $117k DEF)

Pros: He’s on the bubble in SuperCoach this round and has scored well in his first two games with 64 and 62 in AFL Fantasy and 61 and 75 in SC, so he’s clearly got some talent and capability.

Cons: He’s been dropped this week and has tough competition for spots with Taylor Duryea returning and Hayden Crozier in the magoos. But Cleary does appear the likely Dogs sub this weekend, with two debutants and a key forward alongside him as emergencies, so he may still burst that bubble in Round 11.

Elijah Hollands (AF $190k SC $124k M/F)

Pros: Currently averaging 90.3 AFL fantasy points in the VFL, the highly touted prospect is finally making his debut this week after a monster performance in the twos last week. He’s likely got the highest ceiling as a rookie with how he plays as an impact player. Named as emergency this week, so getting closer.

Cons: While he hasn’t been named as a debutant this week, he could be the sub this week, so keep a watch. Job security is also a question mark, he’s also perfect to pick up in the bye period rather than now but we saw with Greg Clark if you jump on at the right time you might get a nice score out of it. 

Jake Soligo (AF $255k SC $168k MID)

Pros: After battling in the first two rounds, he has returned to the side and had two strong back-to-back weeks in a role on the wing for Adelaide, scoring 59 and 77 in AFL Fantasy and 61 and 96 in SuperCoach. Named on the wing again this week with a negative break-even in both formats despite playing four games already, sure to make cash.

Cons: Higher priced than the other options. Also he’s in a side in flux and out of form, meaning his role could change with the likes of Matt Crouch and Wayne Milera returning. Also those two poor early scores are a worry.

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